RJ Member and Other Readers of The Daily Dish Agrees with Andrew Sullivan for Defending Brendan Eich, Mozilla CEO

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    Apr 12, 2014 6:28 PM GMT
    A Reader (not me) at The Daily Dish:

    This really frightens me. Eich may well be wrong – very wrong, in fact – but he has a right to his opinion, and the fact that the Internet threw a hissy fit certainly doesn’t justify firing him. There’s no freedom of speech if you can’t be employed while holding your opinion. And he even made it clear that he wasn’t going to change any of Mozilla’s benefit policies or the like! This wasn’t going to affect anybody in any way. This is entirely about his right to hold his opinion.

    This is particularly depressing to me because the tech industry has generally been fairly open-minded. I wouldn’t have expected this from them.
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    Apr 12, 2014 6:31 PM GMT
    Another Reader:

    Thanks much for posting that. It makes me glad I popped 50 bucks for the subscription. For a brief time there, I thought I was the only one arguing the case against intimidation tactics. I was actually called a “Quisling” by one self-righteous ninny in another blog’s comments section for saying that the use of intimidation is a bad strategy in pursuing SSM and gay rights.

    I’m sure you’ve been called much worse, as have I, but that really got to me. I’ve been fighting for SSM almost as long as you have. And now that we’ve got it, and I’m married, I find it deeply disturbing to see this sort of nonsense spewing out of the left. I used to think epistemic closure was mostly a problem for the right. I’m coming to know how deeply wrong I was.
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    Apr 12, 2014 6:32 PM GMT
    I haven't yet bought a subscription but the whole piece was available one day this past week.

    Sullivan said, given how smart the guy was, all internet users are worse off by him stepping down as CEO.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Apr 13, 2014 12:53 AM GMT
    No, what's missing from the commentary is that Mozilla has a policy about supporting gay rights and when employees found out that Eich was not in line with that policy, which existed before Eich came along, then they started to raise the issue.
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    Apr 13, 2014 1:19 AM GMT
    company CED gets paid the major money. They are the visionary for the company. Even back for the CA prop8 you knew it was systemically wrong.
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Apr 13, 2014 2:13 AM GMT
    StephenOABC saidA Reader (not me) at The Daily Dish:

    This really frightens me. Eich may well be wrong – very wrong, in fact – but he has a right to his opinion, and the fact that the Internet threw a hissy fit certainly doesn’t justify firing him. There’s no freedom of speech if you can’t be employed while holding your opinion. And he even made it clear that he wasn’t going to change any of Mozilla’s benefit policies or the like! This wasn’t going to affect anybody in any way. This is entirely about his right to hold his opinion.

    This is particularly depressing to me because the tech industry has generally been fairly open-minded. I wouldn’t have expected this from them.


    StephenOfABC,

    Mr. Eich does have a right to his opinions. We know that. But Mozilla also has a right to fire him for holding those opinions. So what about the right of Mozilla?

    This has nothing to do with Freedom of Speech.

    While the hiring of Mr. Eich may not have affected anybody in any way, it did create a sense of doubt as to whether his beliefs will extend as hostility towards any openly gay employee. After all, Mr. Eich does not simply have a belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, he contributed money to a campaign to ensure it remains that way. That's taking it up a notch!

    Also, the internet's fury at Mr. Eich being hired is a justifiable cause for letting him go. Companies care about PR and their branding.

    I think it's funny that conservatives have now decided to ban the use of Mozilla. I'm wondering how many of them even used it, or even heard of it? I bet most use the default internet explorer if they have windows, or Safari for Macs.
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    Apr 13, 2014 4:34 AM GMT
    It is also unbelievably stupid for the gay rights movement. You want to squander the real gains we have made by argument and engagement by becoming just as intolerant of others’ views as the Christianists?

    - Andrew Sullivan
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    Apr 13, 2014 4:38 AM GMT
    Brendan Eich was regarded as someone whose political beliefs and activities rendered him unsuitable for his job. In California, if an employer had fired an employee for these reasons, he would be breaking the law:

    1102. No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.


    Now Eich was not in that precise position. He resigned as CEO under duress because of his political beliefs. The letter of the law was not broken. But what about the spirit of the law?
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    Apr 13, 2014 4:44 AM GMT
    Eich himself wrote the following:

    Here are my commitments, and here’s what you can expect:

    Active commitment to equality in everything we do, from employment to events to community-building.
    Working with LGBT communities and allies, to listen and learn what does and doesn’t make Mozilla supportive and welcoming.
    My ongoing commitment to our Community Participation Guidelines, our inclusive health benefits, our anti-discrimination policies, and the spirit that underlies all of these.
    My personal commitment to work on new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or who have been marginalized in ways that makes their contributing to Mozilla and to open source difficult. More on this last item below.

    I know some will be skeptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything. I can only ask for your support to have the time to “show, not tell”; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain … I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion.
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    Apr 13, 2014 4:46 AM GMT
    coolarmydude saidNo, what's missing from the commentary is that Mozilla has a policy about supporting gay rights and when employees found out that Eich was not in line with that policy, which existed before Eich came along, then they started to raise the issue.


    I replied to this with the post above.
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    Apr 13, 2014 4:51 AM GMT
    And this [what was written by Brendan Eich] was not enough. I’m sorry but [this is a] profoundly intolerant company.

    Eich begged for mercy; he asked to be given a fair shot to prove he wasn’t David Duke; he directly interacted with those he had hurt. He expressed sorrow.

    He had not the slightest blemish in his professional record. He had invented JavaScript. He was a hero. He pledged to do all he could to make amends. But none of this is ever enough for Inquisitions – and it wasn’t enough in this case. His mind and conscience were the problem. He had to change them or leave.

    A civil rights movement without toleration is not a civil rights movement; it is a cultural campaign to expunge and destroy its opponents. A moral movement without mercy is not moral; it is, when push comes to shove, cruel.

    For a decade and half, we have fought the battle for equal dignity for gay people with sincerity, openness, toleration and reason. It appears increasingly as if we will have to fight and fight again to prevent this precious and highly successful legacy from being hijacked by a righteous, absolutely certain, and often hateful mob. We are better than this. And we must not give in to it.

    A. Sullivan
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    Apr 13, 2014 5:04 AM GMT
    Mark Surman of Mozilla

    On the inspiration part, I need to say: Brendan Eich is one of the most inspiring humans that I have ever met. He is a true hero for many of us. He invented a programming language that is the heart and soul of the most open communications system the world has ever known. He led a band of brilliant engineers and activists who freed the internet from the grip of Microsoft. And, one-on-one, in his odd and brilliant ways, he helped and advised so many of us as we put our own hearts and souls into building Mozilla and building the web. I was truly excited to see Brendan step into the role of CEO two weeks ago. And, today, I am equally sad.

    It’s important to remember that all heroes are also human. They struggle. And they often have flaws. Brendan’s biggest flaw, IMHO, was his inability to connect and empathize with people. I’ve seen and felt that over the years, finding Bredan brilliant, but distant. And you certainly saw it this past week, as many calm and reasonable people said “Brendan, I want you to lead Mozilla. But I also want you to feel my pain.” Brendan didn’t need to change his mind on Proposition 8 to get out of the crisis of the past week. He simply needed to project and communicate empathy. His failure to do so proved to be his fatal flaw as CEO.



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 13, 2014 5:08 AM GMT
    "Oh that is good, Mozilla renewed itself by cutting the head of one of the best tech guys over there, just to make the LGBT community happy."

    "I’m gay, and I agree with you, LorenzoC. “He’s a hero . . . but he disagrees with me on a political issue that’s completely unrelated to his job, so he can’t work at the company he helped create.” What?!"
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    Apr 13, 2014 5:09 AM GMT
    "50,000 input messages to Firefox/Mozilla, 95% against what Mozilla and OKStupid and other Eich-bashers did:

    “I’ve uninstalled your product after having it used it for many years. I don’t want to support a company that attacks and punishes someone for his personal view. Your behavior is the definition of intolerance. ”

    That’s because 95% of the supporters, developers, and users out there are *not* leftwing GayActivist extremists. Many if not most have traditional values and/or are Christians, Muslims, Mormons, etc. The political spectrum is broad, and by allowing political division to define who is acceptable, Mozilla has made outcasts not just a few but MOST who participate in the community.

    All those who still think Eich got it coming to him, stop being a hypocrite – and uninstall Javascript and never use it again. Ever. I dare ya."
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    Apr 13, 2014 5:35 AM GMT
    StephenOABC said"50,000 input messages to Firefox/Mozilla, 95% against what Mozilla and OKStupid and other Eich-bashers did:

    “I’ve uninstalled your product after having it used it for many years. I don’t want to support a company that attacks and punishes someone for his personal view. Your behavior is the definition of intolerance. ”

    That’s because 95% of the supporters, developers, and users out there are *not* leftwing GayActivist extremists. Many if not most have traditional values and/or are Christians, Muslims, Mormons, etc. The political spectrum is broad, and by allowing political division to define who is acceptable, Mozilla has made outcasts not just a few but MOST who participate in the community.

    All those who still think Eich got it coming to him, stop being a hypocrite – and uninstall Javascript and never use it again. Ever. I dare ya."


    If you're expecting the majority of people who post here to agree with you on the overreach of gay activist and the "gay community" (whatever that means) in general, I wouldn't be holding my breath if I were you! Your expecting far too much common sense where there is none.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Apr 13, 2014 1:19 PM GMT
    What happened to Eich is no different than what the Boy Scouts do to gay Scout leaders. For people to act like this is unprecedented is ridiculous.
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    Apr 13, 2014 1:39 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidWhat happened to Eich is no different than what the Boy Scouts do to gay Scout leaders. For people to act like this is unprecedented is ridiculous.

    Hilarious that the righties are all upset about Eich when they demanded---demanded!---that the entire board of World Vision step down after proposing to allow the employment of married Christian gays, even though World Vision recanted. This wasn't enough for these Christian fascists. And then they have the nerve to scream about the treatment of Brendan Eich. Really, it would be comical if it weren't such a disgusting spectacle.
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Apr 13, 2014 1:39 PM GMT
    shybuffguy said
    StephenOABC said"50,000 input messages to Firefox/Mozilla, 95% against what Mozilla and OKStupid and other Eich-bashers did:

    “I’ve uninstalled your product after having it used it for many years. I don’t want to support a company that attacks and punishes someone for his personal view. Your behavior is the definition of intolerance. ”

    That’s because 95% of the supporters, developers, and users out there are *not* leftwing GayActivist extremists. Many if not most have traditional values and/or are Christians, Muslims, Mormons, etc. The political spectrum is broad, and by allowing political division to define who is acceptable, Mozilla has made outcasts not just a few but MOST who participate in the community.

    All those who still think Eich got it coming to him, stop being a hypocrite – and uninstall Javascript and never use it again. Ever. I dare ya."


    If you're expecting the majority of people who post here to agree with you on the overreach of gay activist and the "gay community" (whatever that means) in general, I wouldn't be holding my breath if I were you! Your expecting far too much common sense where there is none.


    I'm thankful for those gay activists and the Gay Community who have pushed this country, city by city, state by state, to get to where we are now.

    Let's face it, if this country was run by the type of politicians you elect, we wouldn't be anywhere close to where we are now..

    So thank you Community.
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    Apr 13, 2014 5:46 PM GMT
    creature said

    I'm thankful for those gay activists and the Gay Community who have pushed this country, city by city, state by state, to get to where we are now.

    Let's face it, if this country was run by the type of politicians you elect, we wouldn't be anywhere are close.

    So thank you Community.


    You forget that shybuffguy and the rest of his ilk are interested only in looking after number one, so the concept of any sort of gay community is completely lost on them.
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Apr 13, 2014 6:00 PM GMT
    Ex_Mil8 said
    creature said

    I'm thankful for those gay activists and the Gay Community who have pushed this country, city by city, state by state, to get to where we are now.

    Let's face it, if this country was run by the type of politicians you elect, we wouldn't be anywhere are close.

    So thank you Community.


    You forget that shybuffguy and the rest of his ilk are interested only in looking after number one, so the concept of any sort of gay community is completely lost on them.


    Ugh. Reminds me of that Thatcher remark on society.
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    Apr 13, 2014 6:53 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidWhat happened to Eich is no different than what the Boy Scouts do to gay Scout leaders. For people to act like this is unprecedented is ridiculous.


    Except, being a scout leader is voluntary, one does not get paid to do so and therefore it doesn't have any effect on how one supports themselves or their family.

    BSA is basically a private social club and as such it has the right to exclude anyone for any reason just as GLADD or the Black Student Unions at universities. If your going to keep complaining about the BSA, isn't it somewhat hypocritical not to complain about other groups that you agree with for having similarly exclusionary policies.

    Do you ever get tired of completely missing the mark?
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Apr 14, 2014 12:01 AM GMT
    shybuffguy said
    coolarmydude saidWhat happened to Eich is no different than what the Boy Scouts do to gay Scout leaders. For people to act like this is unprecedented is ridiculous.


    Except, being a scout leader is voluntary, one does not get paid to do so and therefore it doesn't have any effect on how one supports themselves or their family.

    BSA is basically a private social club and as such it has the right to exclude anyone for any reason just as GLADD or the Black Student Unions at universities. If your going to keep complaining about the BSA, isn't it somewhat hypocritical not to complain about other groups that you agree with for having similarly exclusionary policies.

    Do you ever get tired of completely missing the mark?


    That's garbage. It doesn't matter whether it's for pay or to volunteer. The issue at hand is that someone was pressured from a position for their belief that was at odds with company policy. And again, Eich VOLUNTARILY stepped down. Would it be more similar for you if the CEO was on a $1 annual salary? No. And again, the paycheck is not the point.

    And I complain about the BSA because of their policy against gay Scout leaders, not because of their ability to remove a group of people.
  • Chainers

    Posts: 375

    Apr 14, 2014 12:17 AM GMT
    I have to say that I agree, he should not have been forced to step down as long as he was willing to represent the company, and not let his personal values get in the way of doing business. I mean, after the article came out with HP and Intel donating 60% and 89% of all their funds to support Prop 8, it is hard for me to victimize this one person.

    Either way, it is over now and we should move on, but still, people have a right to their opinion.
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    Apr 14, 2014 1:28 AM GMT
    coolarmydude saidWhat happened to Eich is no different than what the Boy Scouts do to gay Scout leaders. For people to act like this is unprecedented is ridiculous.

    Oh, and Peter LaBarbera is demanding (demanding!) that Liberty University fire the gay choreographer of their production of Mary Poppins. Because, you know, he's gay.

    Right-wingers are such hypocrites.
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    Apr 15, 2014 2:22 AM GMT
    coolarmydude said
    shybuffguy said
    coolarmydude saidWhat happened to Eich is no different than what the Boy Scouts do to gay Scout leaders. For people to act like this is unprecedented is ridiculous.


    Except, being a scout leader is voluntary, one does not get paid to do so and therefore it doesn't have any effect on how one supports themselves or their family.

    BSA is basically a private social club and as such it has the right to exclude anyone for any reason just as GLADD or the Black Student Unions at universities. If your going to keep complaining about the BSA, isn't it somewhat hypocritical not to complain about other groups that you agree with for having similarly exclusionary policies.

    Do you ever get tired of completely missing the mark?


    That's garbage. It doesn't matter whether it's for pay or to volunteer. The issue at hand is that someone was pressured from a position for their belief that was at odds with company policy.


    Gay Marriage was not company policy at the time he submitted his check. Is gay marriage company policy now? Besides, he was not pressured to leave for the reason you say.